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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

21 July 1999

STATE-OF-ORIGIN BATTLELINES DRAW FOR GREEN CORPS


Victoria is languishing behind New South Wales and Queensland in putting forward Green Corps projects, Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, said today.

"To date New South Wales has had 25% of projects and Queensland about 20%. Yet Victoria, with a bigger population than Queensland, is simply not putting up as many projects for consideration."

"I'm calling on Victorian community groups and clubs, local councils, Landcare and other environmental groups to get involved with Green Corps, particularly those in rural and regional areas where volunteers are often hard pressed after decades of carrying the torch alone."

"If you have got a good idea for a Green Corps project, put it down on paper and apply. Now is the time to act," Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone said she hoped Victoria would substantially increase its share of the additional $88.8 million in federal funding that is being ploughed into Green Corps over the next four years.

Over the next four years 6,800 new Green Corps places will be offered to young Australians aged between 17 and 20 years with an interest in the environment.

Applications for the next round for Green Corps close on 9 August 1999, with further rounds commencing approximately every ten weeks thereafter.

Typical Green Corps projects include bush regeneration, land, water and wildlife surveys, working with endangered species, native habitat restoration and protection, Coastcare or Landcare activities, walking track construction, weed control and restoring historical building or cultural sites.

Projects should be at least 14 weeks in duration and should be consistent with the objectives of the Natural Heritage Trust and with local catchment, regional and conservation plans.

"The great thing about Green Corps is that while a local group puts up the project proposal, day-to-day supervision of the trainees is handled by the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers."

"Often community groups don't have the time or money to do the work required. Bringing in a team of 10 young 'hired-guns' gives them practical experience and training, while the local environment benefits from conservation work that wouldn't otherwise be done."

Dr Stone has urged the Victorians not too miss out on a unique opportunity to restore or protect their local environment while also helping to kick-start a young Victorian's natural resource management career.

"In rural areas particularly, Green Corps is helping to build a skilled, young workforce with expertise in natural resource management. Green Corps training and work experience is also helping to improve employment prospects for young Victorians, giving them vocational and social skills that will last a lifetime."

"There have been some marvellous projects in Victorian over the past three years, but we need more Green Corps applications to ensure young Victorians have the opportunity to participate and the environment gets its fair share of attention."

Guidelines and application forms for Green Corps projects and participants are available from ATCV on telephone freecall 1800 633 844 or electronically at http://www.atcv.com.au.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia